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Karate-do: My Way of Life Hardcover – Jan 1978

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha America, Inc (Jan. 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870112414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870112416
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,436,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author


GICHIN FUNAKOSHI is world famous as one of Karate's great masters. Born in Shuri, Okinawa Prefecture, in 1868, he studied Karate-do from childhood and organized the first public demonstrations.
He was trained in the Confucian classics and was a schoolteacher early in life. After training for decades under the foremost masters in Okinawa he was elected president of the Okinawa Association for the Spirit of Martial Arts.
He was chosen to demonstrate Karate at the First National Athletic Exhibition in Tokyo in 1922, which led to the introduction of the ancient martial art to the rest of Japan and subsequently to the rest of the world. Among his writings are Karate-do Nyumon: The Master Introductory Text, Karate-doKyohan: The Master Text, and Karate Jutsu: The Original Teachings of Gichin Funakoshi.
Master Gichin Funakoshi died in April 1957.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a super biography of today's master of Karate, Gichin Funakoshi. Even since his death in 1957 he has helped Karate to be exported throughout the world. It makes for a VERY interesting read. A must for those interested in not just the combat of Karate, but the Spiritual side of it too.
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By A Customer on 3 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a true must-have for any student of martial arts, not just shotokan karate. Within Master Funakoshi guides the reader throughout his life and shares stories and information about his experiences. Master Funakishi's way of writing is humbling and enlightening and a delight to read. It cannot be recommended highly enough and all martial arts students, whether beginner or black belt, should read this amazing life story of a remarkable man.
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Format: Paperback
As a 5th dan practitioner of Shotokan Karate for nearly 40 years I have been aware of Gichin Funakoshi as it's founder the whole of my life. For many years I questioned the practical relevance of many of the techniques and kata I have been taught and in turn passed on to my own students. As a student I began to think that the aesthetic appearence of Karate seemed to be important to my seniors than its actual use as the self-defence system that it claimed to be. I was taught Karate kumite as a sport for scoring points with techniques of nearly no relevance to real confrontation and kata as almost a dance routine to look good to the eye and impress judges in an over riding and all important quest to gain a medal or trophy.
On studying closely Karate-do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi we learn that Karate has changed so much since its introduction to Japan, that if our great projanitors were to see it practiced today it would be unrecognisable to them as Karate. This superb book gives us a unique snapshot at the old masters: Sokon Matsumura, Itosu and Azato. These truly hard man practised karate as a close quarter combat system designed specifically to protect their king. Kata was not a meaningless succession of movements for physical exercise or performance but rather each kata was a recording of a complete and utterly devastating fighting system. Moreover we discover that Gichin Funakoshi was adamantly against the stylisation of the art and was dismayed at his Karate being named Shotokan!
Karate Do My Way of Life is a superb book written by a genius of the art.Okay, it's not Orange Prize book award writing but we're Karateka and every karateka should read it and enjoy it.... NO! STUDY IT AND LEARN from it for what it is. It gives us all the clues on how we should be teaching this life-changing art and its not how the majority of schools do it today.

Overall a pleasant read but more importantly the key to how karate should be practiced is held within.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book and could not put it down.Its the great true life history of master GICHIN FUNAKOSHI and the things that happen to him within and out of his karate life,(funny avents),a great read and a must for all karate folk.
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By A Customer on 10 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
I was recommended this book by my Sensei and I am so glad I bought it. It is an amazing story about an amazing person who dedicated his life to Karate and without whom we - as students- may not be training in Karate today. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in martial arts and defy anyone not to be inspired and motivated by the book. Excellent reading, I couldn't put it down.
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Format: Paperback
In his biographical masterpiece, Supreme Grand Master Gichin Funakoshi gives a very witty, intelligent & often funny account of his whole life, from his early days when he was forced to take up training for his poor health to when he was finally invited to Japan to give the first successful demonstration of his art - Shotokan Karate.

He was obviously a very clever man who really had a passion for his art. At an early age he developed a goal, a vision and a passion to learn all he could about karate from the then great masters of his time and present it to the world. He recounts several times in his life when he was confronted by would-be assailants and describes how he got out of the potentially lethal encounter, he does this in a very witty and often funny way.

Despite the book being very small and could be read by some perhaps in a day or so, it really is very interesting and worth reading several times, especially if you practice Karate. I think that it's the sort of book that should be given to new students on joining a Shotokan club.

It's just packed with gems of wisdom worth there weight in gold for successful living, even in today's manic society.

As in all the other positive reviews listed here already, Funakoshi's book is full of wisdom, inspiration and hope.

Do check out Clive Layton's "Training with Funakoshi" too, an excellent work from a different perspective not to mention Funakoshi's "The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate".

Ought to be on every Shotokan karate-ka's bookshelf!
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Format: Paperback
If you study Shotokan Karate, this is definatly a must have. It would also be a good resource for any Karateka, as Master Funakoshi is the father of modern day Karate which consists of may styles that people all over the world now learn.
In it, Master Funakoshi recalls all the important elements of his life from how and why he began studying Karate, to how he ended up spreading Karate around the world, and making more then his wieldest dreams come true. This really is a must have book for any serious Karateka (Karate Student) to have. There are also a few very good lessons to be learnt from this book that will prove to help any Karateka in the ways of the Empty Hand, and life.
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